This is Part 1 of Laurie’s notes from her recent Sagemont Church Ladies Night Out message. She is still in North Texas with her family (her father is hospitalized and recuperating from surgery). No Front Porch Friday this week, but she will resume it when she returns to Houston.
As a Downton Abbey devotee, I have been anxiously anticipating Season 4 of my favorite TV series. That’s why weeks before the new season ever aired, I set my DVR to record all of the new episodes. Then, I silently congratulated myself and thought, “Way to go, Laurie! Way to plan ahead and be prepared. Now you can rest easy in the knowledge that you will never miss a single tender embrace or loving word between Anna and Mr. Bates, a single exquisite costume or elaborate hairdo on Lady Mary, or (my favorite) a single delicious zinger or wisecrack from the wrinkled lips of the Dowager Countess.
We look ahead and anticipate our favorite TV shows, don’t we? We set our DVRs and do our best not to forget or miss watching them. In so many of the important and not-so-important areas of our lives, we plan ahead, prepare, calendar, and carefully schedule.
But in all of your planning, organizing, and calendaring, is it possible that there is something you’ve forgotten? Something important?
Perhaps that something you forgot (but God has not) is this:
Did you know that God has a calendar? He sets dates, plans ahead, and schedules events. But unlike us, He accomplishes every plan, achieves every purpose, and never forgets a single date on His calendar.
Wanna take a peek at God’s calendar with me? Let’s begin by taking a look at:
I know, you’re probably more interested in future prophecy. We’ll get to that (in Part 3; this is only Part 1). But there are some very important reasons why we need to review and remember past prophecies before jumping ahead and focusing on future prophecies, and here are five of them:
5 Reasons You Should Never Forget Past (fulfilled) Prophecy:
Because they prove over and over again that God is who He says He is: He alone is God, and there is no other.
Because they prove God always does what He says He will do. He keeps His Word 100% of the time.
Because they prove God will fulfill present-day and future prophecies.
Because they inspire and ensure us that we have placed our hope and faith in truth that is sure.
Because they cause us to ask ourselves the most important question: Am I ready for the future and the things God has prophesied and will fulfill in the days ahead?
There are hundreds of Old Testament prophecies that have been fulfilled, and over 100 of them are Messianic prophecies — prophecies about the first coming of Christ. The following passages represent only a very small sampling. But as you read them, I know they will encourage your faith in our God who always has and always will keep His prophetic calendar.
5 Past Prophecies From God’s Prophetic Calendar:
1. Genesis 3:15 (NLT):
“And I will cause hostility between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring. He will strike [crush] your head, and you will strike [bruise] his heel.”
As God addresses Satan in the garden of Eden, He foretells the very first prophecy about Jesus. The “He” is Christ. The bruised heel is the crucifixion. This prophecy reveals that from the very beginning, God’s Plan A for the redemption and salvation of mankind was Jesus’ death on the cross.
2. Psalm 22:1-18 (NLT):
“My God, my God, why have you abandoned me? Why are you so far away when I groan for help? …But I am a worm and not a man. I am scorned and despised by all! Everyone who sees me mocks me. They sneer and shake their heads, saying, ‘Is this the one who relies on the LORD? Then let the LORD save him! If the LORD loves him so much, let the LORD rescue him!’ …My enemies surround me like a herd of bulls; fierce bulls of Bashan have hemmed me in! Like lions they open their jaws against me, roaring and tearing into their prey. My life is poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint. My heart is like wax, melting within me. My strength has dried up like sunbaked clay. My tongue sticks to the roof of my mouth. You have laid me in the dust and left me for dead. My enemies surround me like a pack of dogs; an evil gang closes in on me. They have pierced my hands and feet. I can count all my bones. My enemies stare at me and gloat. They divide my garments among themselves and throw dice for my clothing.”
Sound familiar? David penned this prophetic, God-inspired psalm hundreds of years before it was fulfilled by Jesus Christ on Calvary’s cross.
3. Isaiah 53:2-7 (NLT):
“My servant grew up in the LORD’s presence like a tender green shoot, like a root in dry ground. There was nothing beautiful or majestic about his appearance, nothing to attract us to him. He was despised and rejected— a man of sorrows, acquainted with deepest grief. We turned our backs on him and looked the other way. He was despised, and we did not care. Yet it was our weaknesses he carried; it was our sorrows that weighed him down. And we thought his troubles were a punishment from God, a punishment for his own sins! But he was pierced for our rebellion, crushed for our sins. He was beaten so we could be whole. He was whipped so we could be healed. All of us, like sheep, have strayed away. We have left God’s paths to follow our own. Yet the LORD laid on him the sins of us all. He was oppressed and treated harshly, yet he never said a word. He was led like a lamb to the slaughter. And as a sheep is silent before the shearers, he did not open his mouth…He had done no wrong and had never deceived anyone. But he was buried like a criminal; he was put in a rich man’s grave.”
Isaiah 53 is the most well-known Old Testament Messianic prophecy, and Isaiah wrote it 700 years before Jesus was ever born.
4. Isaiah 7:14 (NLT):
“The Lord himself will give you the sign. Look! The virgin will conceive a child! She will give birth to a son and will call him Immanual (which means ‘God is with us’).”
Isaiah not only foretold Jesus’ death, he foretold His virgin birth and deity.
5. Micah 5:2 (NASB):
“But as for you, Bethelehem Ephrathah, Too little to be among the clans of Judah, from you One will go forth for Me to be ruler in Israel. His goings forth are from long ago, from the days of eternity.”
Even the exact location and city of Jesus’ birth was prophesied!
Next week, I’ll share Part 2 of God’s Prophetic Calendar (Prophecy Present: the things God is fulfilling today). But until then:
Every time you use your DVR…
Every time you look at a calendar…
Every time you plan a future date…
And (if you are a fan of the Crawley clan) every time you watch Downton Abbey…
I want you to remember God’s prophetic calendar: the things He has fulfilled in the past AND the things He will fulfill in the future. Because honestly, if we can remember to set our DVRs for all of our favorite programs and never miss them, we can also set our hearts to remember God’s program and not miss it.
Are you a Downton Abbey addict — I’d love to hear from you! Besides Downton Abbey, what’s going on in the world today that reminds you about God’s prophetic calendar? Post your comment, girl. Thanks!